Nagia Ni Te have been creating their own world for years. The duo of Shinji Shibayama and Masako Takeda fashion a soundscape consists of gentle psychedelic rhythms, usually driven by electric and acoustic guitars, which are always in the service of the hypnotic but dramatic vocals. Yogusa is not as fully satisfying as the band’s previous ablum, Dream Sounds, but on their seventh release, Nagia Ni Te still enthralls.
Progressive while remaining faithful to their own version of melodic pop, songs like “Reaction in G” and “Shimmer” are just short of gorgeous, with enough of a subtle drone to keep the arrangements loose and open to possibility. Yet these songs rarely stray from a tight, minimalist construct. “Next Day, The” and the title track are majestic and suggest a spiritual yearning that fuels all of Nagisa Ni Te’s work. It is that aspiration, without being preachy or trite, that makes you trust the band as much as you are taken away with them on their explorations.
Their name in Japanese means “On The Beach,” a tribute to the beautiful Neil Young record. Like that set, Nagisa Ni Te tackle heavy, human emotion but always return to a soft, comforting center.While a bit more variation in rhythm would have prevented some repetition in sound, Yogusa is still an often stunning work by a band that makes a habit of aiming for the sublime.